Hello all and welcome back to my desk! I am today visited by Christine Combe! A JAFF author and an author I am very very pleased to welcome to my blog!
DESCRIPTION; “How dare you think that you can just come along after four years and dictate the course of the whole rest of our lives, Mr. Darcy!” she cried. “You don’t have the right!”
He stood and stepped up to her, and stared down at her with an equally determined expression. “I am your husband and he is my son—I have the only right.”
In this new Austenesque tale, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner are Elizabeth’s parents and she grows up happy and carefree in Lambton. At sixteen, Lizzy meets and falls in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy, future Master of Pemberley. The couple decides to elope but they are torn apart by their closest relatives, and when reunited must determine whether the pain of the years that have passed can be overcome to regain the love that was lost.
A REVIEW; A new book by Christine Combe
From the very first page, I was intrigued. I liked the premise of how young our beloved couple was when they met. And how quickly they fell in love with each other. Elizabeth is a Gardiner in this story. I was screaming “YES!” inside my head since I have always found the Gardiner’s to be amiable and proper, and to see them as parents to Elizabeth, could only be good. The point of the Gardiner family also living in Lambton just made it an even better story in my mind!
I was sighing with pleasure and maybe a bit shocked at the idea of Gretna Green, but I found it romantic!
Soon after, I will admit to screaming blue murder into my phone/computer as I read further! I wanted to hit so many characters by then! The heartbreaking scenes that followed made my stomach ache and made me tear up something dreadful.
And then Netherfield Park is let at last!!
I will admit to understanding Elizabeth had been written as she had – she seemed strong and yet sensitive. At Netherfield Park, it was Col. Fitzwilliam and not Darcy visiting Bingley. We, as readers, have read that there hasn’t been any communicating between Darcy’s and Gardiner’s in four years. Another thing we learn is that Elizabeth is living with her cousins at Longbourn Manor. One character caught my heart quite quickly, namely Ned. He was adorable and so cute! I will admit to sighing over his cuteness several times throughout this story.
The way Elizabeth acts towards Col. Fitzwilliam made me both cringe and smirk at the same time. Soon the truth is revealed to Col. Fitzwilliam by accident. Then a letter is dispatched to Pemberley, which makes Darcy rush to Meryton.
The first line out of Elizabeth towards Darcy was, “You are not taking my son from me.” WOW! I was kind of hoping to see them fly into each other’s arms, but just yeah! Soon the Darcy’s are trying to mend their relationship while Darcy and his young son are getting acquainted.
Of course, there are obstacles on their way to a happily ever after redo, and several I wanted to kick in their shins and yell at them. One thing which surprised me was Lady Anne Darcy was alive but in a wheelchair. She was not against our beloved couple as such, but she was not in favour either, in the beginning. But she is won over by the charming new grandson.
Then, of course, the character we all love to hate, Wickham, makes an appearance and threatens Elizabeth’s child. Wow, did I want to kill him right there and then? YES! But, of course, Col. Fitzwilliam helps hunt him down.
The finale of the book was spectacular! Dramatic, deadly, a little scary and oplifting. All in all, a book I greatly loved!
Author bio; Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on the next book in the series.
Hello all and welcome back to my desk for yet another book presentation! Today I am visited by a returning author, Riana Everly. This time it is a Pride and Prejudice/Shakespeare variation, which includes a blurb, a bit of chapter and a giveaway! Good luck! I am glad to welcome back, Riana!
Finding Balance in Much Ado in Meryton
Happy New Year, everyone, and thank you to Sophia for hosting me on this wonderful blog today. I’m always delighted to be here.
The storyline of my new novel, Much Ado in Meryton, is inspired by both Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and William Shakespeare’s wonderful play Much Ado About Nothing. I’m sure I don’t need to say anything about the former, but I’ll give a tiny bit of information on the latter.
In Much Ado About Nothing, there are two main story arcs, one of which involves the constant bickering between characters Beatrice and Benedick. In the play, it is implied that they have a past of some sorts, although we’re never told what it is, and that every time they are together, they can’t stop arguing and sending barbs at each other.
The two stories meshed so well, and Austen’s characters slotted perfectly into Shakespeare’s tale. Elizabeth Bennet makes a perfect Beatrice. She is witty and lively and very pretty, and she doesn’t always hold her tongue. Likewise, Will Darcy is a wonderful counterpoint to Benedick, Beatrice’s adversary. He looks at her with disdain and gives as good as he gets, although Beatrice usually has the last word. They are a great pair, trading zingers and insults until their friends decide to fix the situation by making each think the other is in love with him or her.
But this is where I ran into a snag. At first, I made Lizzy and Darcy a bit too adversarial. The snarky comments and invectives were there, and oh, they were so much fun, but my early readers suggested they were too bitter. I needed the couple to come together before too long, and there had to be an attraction underneath the squabbling, and my first draft was just too nasty.
I took a good, long look at what I had written, and went in with my red pen blazing. As the saying goes, I had to kill my darlings. So many clever quips and vicious retorts hit the cutting room floor. I might have cried a little bit, but the result was a better and more believable relationship between our beloved couple.
The other side of this, however, was to keep enough of the conflict going so the plot made sense and to keep with the spirit of Shakespeare’s play. We can’t have Lizzy and Darcy getting along too well at first, now, can we? Where is the fun in that?
Here is an excerpt from the finished story. Tell me what you think – too much snark, not enough, or a good balance?
From Much Ado in Meryton
[Darcy] stopped in his tracks. “Elizabeth? Elizabeth Bennet staying here for some time?” Oh Good Lord! This was not good news at all. He stifled a groan.
“You will try to be polite, will you not?”
The majestic head shook in offence. “I? Not be polite? I am a gentleman, the grandson of an earl. I am always polite.”
Bingley cocked his head and raised his eyebrows.
“Well, almost always. Bingley, that woman tears at me as if her words had claws. I cannot look upon her but feel the barbs in my skin. I often check my arms to ensure they are not bleeding when I leave her presence. She scolds like a fishwife.”
“Come, the wind is colder than I like. Let us return to the house. I do not understand you at all, my friend. I find her absolutely charming.”
“Charming? Hah! I would as soon call her a wit!”
The words were out before he could stop them, but that same shiver that had bothered him earlier thrilled through him now. She had a great deal of wit, that annoying creature. It was barbed and aimed at his pride, but she was clever and quick. And too pleasant to look upon for his comfort. He snorted again.
They had reached the terrace, and only now did Darcy notice that the window to the parlour was open. Was she still inside at her book? His answer came at once as her voice penetrated the air.
“Indeed, Mr. Darcy knows all about wit. He has a plentiful lack of it by the quality of his slander.” Bother. She had heard him, and he had insulted her again. Now she would, of course, let fly all her arrows straight towards him. Would there be no end of trouble with this annoying woman?
There was movement inside and in a moment she stood at the window, the better to hear and be heard.
“Please, Miss Bennet, do not vex my friend. He is not always at his finest in new company.” Poor Bingley sounded rather desperate and had Darcy not been so irritated at Elizabeth, he might have laughed.
“I shall stand down, Mr. Bingley. I have little desire to spar with Mr. Darcy, for his conversation has little of merit to it. I have better ways to pass my time.”
A tale of friends, enemies, and the power of love.
“Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.” – Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, 5.2
Mr. Darcy’s arrival in Meryton raises many people’s disdain, and Elizabeth Bennet’s ire. An insult at a dance is returned in full measure, and soon the two find themselves in a merry war of words, trading barbs at every encounter. Matters go from bad to worse when Elizabeth and Darcy find themselves living under the same roof for a time, and their constant bickering frays everybody’s nerves.
Will a clever scheme by their family and friends bring some peace to Netherfield’s halls? And what of Mr. Wickham, whose charming presence is not quite so welcome by some members of the party? When the games get out of hand and nastier elements come into play, will everybody’s chances for happiness be ruined forever?
This clever mash-up of Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing casts our beloved characters in fresh light, uniting Jane Austen’s keen insight into love and character, and Shakespeare’s biting wit.
Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11, and has never looked back.
Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!
Riana’s novels have received several awards and citations as favourite reads of the year, including two Jane Austen Awards and a Discovering Diamonds review.
I am delighted to be giving away five eBooks internationally of Much Ado in Meryton. I have set up a Rafflecopter draw, but for anybody who cannot use the link, please email me your name and preferred email address and I will add you manually to the list for the draw. Good luck! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/49aa98596/?
On a side note, I am announcing; Buturot as the winner of the giveaway for my blog from December 17th, Bronwen Chisholm and her Defying Propriety series.
Hello all and welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl and welcome into 2022! Here I am at the start of ’22, a job offer and position secured, which I start next week! It has been quite a busy and topsy-turvy autumn for me, with the end of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, moved back home for a while – yeah, looking for an apartment at the moment, and took my masseuse education which I passed with flying colours. Now, I will leave the scene for Bella, who is here to present her new book, a P&P steamy novel.
“Kidnapped and compromised” by Bella . Welcome Bella!
Hello Dear Readers, it is a pleasure to be here to share more details about my new release, Kidnapped and Compromised. This is a steamy novella and a work of Austenesque fiction.
Abducted and facing ruin, can Elizabeth’s wits save her from a dastardly plot? And will Mr. Darcy find her in time?
When a false friend tricks Elizabeth, she is abducted by carriage from Meryton and carried hours away to a bawdy house. If Mr. Darcy does not rescue and pay her ransom, she will be sold to the highest bidder.
Elizabeth must depend on her wits to survive. But the clock is ticking. Will Mr. Darcy choose to risk his life for the woman he secretly loves but who despises him? And if so, can he rescue her before it’s too late?
This 40,000 word steamy Pride and Prejudice variation features kidnapping, compromise, forced marriage, rescue by Mr. Darcy, double wedding, Christmas holiday ball and a happily everafter.
This book opens near the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, with the militia present in Meryton and Elizabeth Bennet’s opinion of Mr. Darcy set, no matter his opinion of her fine eyes.
Mr. Darcy pulled the reins, bringing his horse to a standstill from cantering, and looked around the Hertfordshire countryside. He thought he had heard yelling. But all he saw was an open field, crops in rows, with no one in sight. Fox pranced forward skittishly, no doubt unnerved by his rider’s stillness.
“Miss Elizabeth Bennet?”
He had definitely heard it this time, over the sound of the horse’s hooves churning the damp earth underfoot. He had not imagined the voices calling for the desirable yet impertinent Elizabeth Bennet. Though she had believed Wickham’s stories about him, and questioned him at the Netherfield ball, he still admired her intelligence and beauty. But he could not have what he wanted. Her social connections and her family’s impropriety would never allow him to be with her in society or even to call on her in Hertfordshire.
He fingered the smooth leather reins as he decided whether to give in to his desire to find the cause of the servants yelling for the Bennet girl or to avoid temptation. The more he was close to her, the harder it was to not speak to her, to make her notice him, to have her admire him.
“Miss Elizabeth Bennet?”
Mr. Darcy nudged his chestnut stallion Fox with his heels and headed towards the figures near the forest. Any gentleman would offer assistance in this situation. And Miss Bingley was not here to tease him for paying too much attention to Elizabeth’s fine eyes.
“You there!” He spied a servant walking at the edge of the woodland. “What is the matter?”
The man pulled at his forelock. “Miss Elizabeth Bennet has not returned from her walk.”
Mr. Darcy had heard of her odd habit of lengthy, daily walks and had seen it for himself when she had hiked three miles to Netherfield to care for her sister. “Surely she cannot be lost? Has she not walked all over this countryside?”
The older man nodded. “Yes sir, but she—”
“How long has she been missing? What is being done to find her?” Mr. Darcy’s horse shook his head and pawed at the ground, eager to return to cantering.
“Miss Elizabeth has been gone since right after the noon meal, sir. Mr. Bennet has all the servants out looking for her.”
Mr. Darcy frowned. That was nearly five hours ago. Even a country girl with a fondness for countryside rambles would have returned by now. His chest clenched at the thought of her injured on the ground, somewhere at the mercy of the local wildlife. “How many are searching for Miss Bennet? Is anyone on horseback? What is her usual walking path?”
The servant looked back towards Longbourn, the home of the Bennet family. “I do not know, sir. Mr. Bennet is at Longbourn and would answer your questions.”
Mr. Darcy spun his horse and kicked him into a canter. He searched the ground for a beautiful young woman lying injured as he rode. She must have twisted her ankle and was too far away to be heard yelling for help.
It was unconscionable that the Bennet girl was allowed to walk without a maid. Never would he have permitted his sister Georgiana to do the same. Perhaps Mr. Bennet would be more circumspect after this. However, Mr. Darcy doubted it. Control over his family was not one of Mr. Bennet’s strong suits, not with the way his younger daughters behaved at the assemblies or in town, flirting with the officers.
Mr. Darcy guided his horse down the short driveway of Longbourn.
Mr. Bennet looked up at the sound of Fox’s hooves clattering on the gravel path. The family’s patriarch stood in front of the house, directing searchers in his greatcoat and hat. Mr. Bennet turned in Mr. Darcy’s direction.
“Mr. Bennet, I came across one of your servants looking for Miss Elizabeth. May I offer my assistance?”
Mr. Bennet grimaced. “It would be much appreciated Mr. Darcy. However, I am sure my dear Lizzy has just lost track of the time. I have tried to curtail her long walks, but she will not listen to me.”
He chuckled, most likely expecting Mr. Darcy to join in. But Mr. Darcy’s thoughts were far from amused as his opinion of the Bennet patriarch dropped lower. “Men on horseback could cover a greater distance. I am certain Mr. Bingley would provide his servants to help with the search.”
Mr. Bennet widened his stance as he looked up at the younger man who outranked him in every manner. “I thank you for your offer; nonetheless I am sure we will find her quite soon. There is no need to cause alarm among our friends and neighbors.”
Mr. Darcy gathered the reins, biting back the desire to tell Mr. Bennet that a proper search had not been done. He turned, giving his horse the signal to move away from the man and his doddering ways. The eldest two Bennet girls deserved all the credit for their characters. It was a shame they came from such a family.
A young maid darted out from behind the hedgerows lining the lane. Fox reared back in surprise, but Mr. Darcy quickly brought him under control. He turned to the girl, ready to lecture her on not startling horses.
“Oh, Mr. Darcy! I have a note for you. I was going to give it to Mr. Bennet, but since you are here…” She held the stationary up to him.
He plucked it out of her hand with a scowl. It could not be a message from Netherfield. Mr. Bingley would not have sent a young maid alone to find him. “Who is this from?”
“A man in Meryton asked me to give this to you.” The girl gripped her waist, breathing heavily.
He unfolded and read the note, his heart stopping. Mr. Darcy pinned the servant girl with his stare. “How long ago did you receive this? Did you recognize the man that gave it to you?”
“No, sir, but he had a red coat on. He must be one of the militia.”
Mr. Darcy turned his head away to think. The maid curtsied and started towards the house.
She stopped and looked back, clutching her apron.
“Do not tell anyone. Miss Elizabeth’s reputation is at stake.”
The servant assured him of her silence and continued down the driveway to Longbourn. Mr. Darcy lifted the reins, intending to race to Netherfield and round up his friend Mr. Bingley and servants, but stopped. It was his fault entirely that the honor of Elizabeth Bennet was at risk. The fewer people that knew of this situation, the better.
He needed to move quickly. Mr. Wickham had abducted Elizabeth Bennet.
So back to me, thank you Bella for introduing us to your new book! It sounds steamy and intriguing! I hope Wickham has his comeuppance coming by the end! But for now, the game is afoot! See you soon, guys! So Remember, you are welcome here at my desk, always! So check back in, soon for new context!
Merry Christmas Everyone! Today it is Christmas in Denmark! But I am posting before Christmas Dinner is served. I have lately read this prequel book to Mr. Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” by Keith Eldred. This is the book before Scrooge becomes the miser, we all know and learn to understand. I can only commend Mr. Eldred for his way of writing, it is certain hints to Mr. Dickens own writing, and many wonderful lines, which is recognisable and very well written. I recommend that you read this, The Red Button and then Mr. Dickens A Christmas Carol. So now I give you; The Red Button.
The point of view seems at the opening to be from a particular “Red.” button, which we should follow. So from there, we are introduced to the Endicott family; Archie and Belle, father and daughter, and the ‘special’ ‘powers’ that Belle exhibits. Then Ebenezer Scrooge enters the scene or the plot, and now the book takes form quickly and is recognised from snippets in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Even at a young age, it is clear that Ebenezer is self-reliant, a little haughty and certainly a little arrogant, but also surprisingly curious about the world around him. The writing of Mr Eldred is catching and in line with the future, and his characters warn Ebenezer clearly throughout the book. “You are not only what you do, Ebenezer. Activity makes a man neither better nor worse. It merely reveals what he values. Do not chase your worth or seek to establish it. You own it already.” – Fezziwig. But does he listen to these wise councils? No, as we all know, and the button knows it.
As the plot takes form, the button appears again in chapter 18, in the pocket of Scrooge.
The pace is good, and the length of the chapters makes one fly through it. Soon after, Mr Marley appears on the scene to “appropriate” Scrooge to the future we all know. One of their conversations is very interesting since it makes the reader’s mind jump straight to A Christmas Carol. And to make sure where you can look, the conversation is on page 156, and it’s good.
And again, the button appears in chapter 63, left at Scrooges apartment. And lastly, it appears again in chapter 86, the final time we are allowed to “see” the button in the plot. In my opinion, the red button has the purpose of a reminder and portal to what was unfulfilled within Scrooge.
But as we all know, Christmas will always hold a special place in Scrooge, once he faces the 3 Ghosts: Past, Present and Future – and once he learns to enjoy giving to other people and place a special signifigance on Christmas. Merry Christmas and God Bless us, every one as Tiny Tim once said.
Hello All, Merry Christmas! I was asked extraordinarily to be part of a small blog tour here, days before Christmas. So without further ado, I will welcome back, Jayne Bamber and her book/audiobook; “Five Daughters out at once”
This morning, he had been delayed a quarter of an hour in conversation with Richard, and when Darcy reached the bend in the dusty lane where Netherfield disappeared from sight and the golden trees began to close in, Elizabeth was nowhere to be seen. He muttered an oath, cursing his cousin’s beastly timing. Hoping he might catch Elizabeth up, he started down the path at once. One of the trees began to rain leaves down on Darcy… and then it laughed at him.
He stopped and looked up, and was first soundly berated for his ungentlemanly espionage, then commanded to retreat several paces. Relief, astonishment, some little anxiety, and finally affectionate bewilderment all took a turn in his odd laughter, and the sight of Elizabeth landing on her feet like a cat at the base of the tree only heightened Darcy’s amusement. He offered her his hand in assistance and she accepted it, meeting his eye boldly, her lips set in a sardonic smile as she began to brush herself off. Once she had found her footing, Darcy shared a silent look of mischief with her and plucked a few leaves from her unruly hair.
Elizabeth bit her lip at the unintended intimacy, adding to the beguiling effect of her disheveled bravado. Darcy was intoxicatingly close to taking her in his arms and making love to her against the trunk of that very tree; he made a feeble jest with every hope of diminishing the heady rush of tension. “With your hair in such a state, Elizabeth Bennet, I shan’t even inquire as to the state of your petticoat.” He winced, his mind still too amorously engaged.
She blushed, her lips twisting into a smirk, and she silently lifted a finger, pointing upward. Darcy looked up into the tree branches that sprawled out above them in intricate arcs, black against the pale dawn. Elizabeth must have climbed impressively high, for her bonnet was caught by one of its ribbons on a branch more than twenty feet up. When he looked back at her, she only gave him a cheeky shrug of her shoulders.
“A gentleman would climb the tree and retrieve your fine piece of haberdashery; a scoundrel might enjoy the sight of your wild curls,” Darcy teased her.
Elizabeth arched an eyebrow as sudden gust of wind blew the bonnet from where it had been lodged and carried it off. “I suppose I shall never know which one you are this morning, Mr. Darcy, what a mystery!”
She had linked her arm through his almost at the same moment as he began to initiate the gesture himself, and Darcy smiled at the synchronicity as if it were an omen of something more. “Shall I ever know why you were up in a tree, Miss Elizabeth?”
“I was looking for you,” she replied with an innocuous smile.
“You supposed me to also be aloft in its branches?”
“As much as you have come to surprise me of late, nothing could be more natural, I am sure.” Elizabeth grinned at him before looking away, suddenly embarrassed. “I was detained in setting out, and feared you might have walked on without me, which would have been infamous of you. I thought I would have a look about, from a superior vantage point, which was very clever of me.”
Darcy’s heart skipped a beat – she would have missed him! “I could never have abandoned such a pleasant ritual – I was delayed by one of my infamous relations,” he said, making a droll face to belie his high emotion.
“So, too, was I,” she laughed. “Or, rather, a relation of yours who wishes to be famous. Georgiana would have me hear a particularly amusing page she composed last night, wherein Miss Isabel beats Mr. Kirkmont about the head with a rolled up newspaper as a means of declining his offer of marriage.” Darcy laughed heartily at the image this brought to mind, and Elizabeth shook her head before letting out a soft giggle. “Are such feats of imagination a family trait, sir?”
Darcy could hardly speak for his own imagination, which had taken another indelicate turn as a loose tendril of hair wrested free from Elizabeth’s chaotic and hastily contrived chignon; the wind blew the thin chestnut strand across her face, flickering against her lips for long enough to distract him, before Elizabeth brushed it away.
She gave a playful roll of her eyes at his inability to answer her, but then her look turned serious. “Forgive me – I assumed you knew of your sister’s endeavor – she has made no secret of it, or rather, she has made a great show of pretending it is a secret. With Lydia as an accomplice, she never stood a chance of true concealment.”
“I am aware of her new pastime,” Darcy replied. “It is good of our companions to indulge her, but I ought to speak to her about the importance of discretion, before she is too carried away with it.”
“Oh dear.” Elizabeth laughed ruefully, and Darcy could see that his answer had disrupted their cheerful harmony.
“I hope you will not be too severe upon her – not on my account,” she said. “What you call indulgence, some might say is real interest. My sisters and I are proud of her endeavor, and wish her well – even if it is not the ladylike pursuit her protective elder brother might desire for her.” The gentle reproof was delivered with a smile that Darcy instinctively mirrored.
“Well said, Lizzy – Elizabeth – Miss Elizabeth,” he stammered. “Truly, I appreciate your sentiments, even if my concern for her future cannot be so easily allayed.”
She laughed merrily at him now. “Well said Lizzy – which only means you thought I would tear you to shreds for being so fastidious! But I hope we are past all that, or at least better than we were a month ago.” The loose tendril of hair bedeviled her again, and this time she began to wrap it about her finger in an idle gesture as she teased him. “Do you know what Georgie imagines of us?”
Darcy shook his head, lost to the thought of how easy their companionship had become, how vital it was – how essential everything about her had become to him – and in only a month. Panic crept into his heart; had Georgiana noticed his ardent admiration of Elizabeth Bennet? It would not do. Their friendship had deepened, his affection for her was dangerously close to being called love, and her receptiveness tore at his soul, but beyond this nothing had changed. He dared not form any serious romantic designs on his aunt’s impoverished ward, nor could he allow anyone to guess that he desperately wished to.
They had moved at a steady pace down the path, and the rounding of another bend in the narrow path brought them into a copse of dogwoods. The pink light of sunrise that cut through the vibrant red boughs shifted an enchanting glow onto Elizabeth’s face, beyond the natural beauty of her lively humor. Her eyes sparkled as she looked up at him, poised to revel in the ridiculous. “She wrote an especially apt passage in which Isabel and Mr. Pendleton reconcile so fully as to – ah, let me think – oh, yes: they no longer scrupled to kick one another out of the window on the slightest provocation.”
Darcy chuckled, at once amused by his sister’s turn of phrase, and envious of how it had delighted Elizabeth – but it was enough that they might share in it together for the present. “The word she is wanting is defenestration,” Darcy replied. “But I suppose her vocabulary may improve in time, if she applies herself to her craft.”
“If she… you mean you can approve of it? Mr. Darcy, have you revised another of your opinions?”
“I told you I could do it,” he replied, hardly knowing what he was saying. “If her writing can please her, and others as well – if she can make readers laugh in such a splendid way, how could I discourage her, and in doing so deprive the world of something so magnificent?”
“Oh,” Elizabeth breathed. She did seem pleased by his admission, but something in her expression changed in a way he was not sure of, and for a moment they only stood still on the path and stared at one another.
The plot takes its start on a night of terror and heartache for Meryton, where several members lose their lives, including Mr Bennet, which leaves the female Bennets in a precarious position. This start made me break out in goosebumps as I listened. During the two years, the women run Longbourn and at the first assembly, a year after the horrific fire in Meryton. We also are told that Bingley and Darcy visit Netherfield Park. But both decide not to let Netherfield Park because of the fire and feelings this would arise. All the news makes Mrs Bennet ill, and she too is lost to her family and leaves the girls orphans. The very idea of losing one’s mother made me tear up.
We listeners then learn of the horrible fate of Lady Catherine’s family, who dies in another fire. Soon we are introduced to Collins, who prepares to take possession of Longbourn Estate. His way of wanting to throw out his cousins makes Lady Catherine highly distressed and angry, and for once, this made me cheer at her anger at the ridiculous parson. Then the party of Collins, Lady Catherine, Darcy and Georgiana leaves for Hertfordshire. The confrontation at Longbourn between the Bennet girls and Collins, Darcy, Lady Catherine was fantastic! I was cheering. Lady Catherine offers to host the Bennet girls at Netherfield and take them under her protection. Though, the three eldest Bennet girls had plans with Charlotte Lucas. I was surprised at how Lady Catherine reacted to Collins and his horrible manners, but I enjoyed it a lot.
Slowly we are told the story of those who lost their lives in the fire in Meryton. The most notorious life was Jane Bennet’s fiancé, Sir Peter. Sir Peter and his family also owned Netherfield, so I could understand why Jane Bennet is not comfortable being at Netherfield.
Soon a house party is going on, and I will admit to shrieking, “WHAT?!” several times when many original characters of Austen’s appeared, including Col. Brandon from S&S, Edward Ferras, Henry Tilney, Lucy Steele and Edmund Bertram. Several love affairs happen throughout this fantastic story, and several times I screamed out, “WHAT? WTH!?” and yikes, how it works! Jayne has done very well, but she always does when she makes a mix of characters in her stories. Drama ensues, and a sudden revelation makes the whole story come together at last and what happens next was not what I had expected at all.
I can reveal the ending I hadn’t seen coming! But everyone got what they deserved, even Lydia and Lucy Steele, hehe.
That was it, folks! Merry Christmas, this is the next to last post you will see from me, for a while at least until the New Year. Tomorrow is another post, a lot more Christmas related. A prequel to a much loved book, namely Dickens “A Christmas Carol” – which takes place before Scrooge becomes, well Scrooge. Follow along in “The Red Button”
Hello all, welcome back to my desk! Today I am glad to welcome back, Bronwen Chisholm and her new P&P series, “Defying Propriety” where the first book is already out, namely “As a Proper Lady would.” Bronwen has been so kind as to answer a few questions about the series, some hints to Book II and a GIVEAWAY! Now, welcome Bronwen Chisholm.
Hi Sophia! I am so excited to be back with you at Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, especially since we get a chance to chat this time.
1. How did you get inspiration for your new series?
This is my first series and I had no intention of it being a series. I was writing As a Proper Lady Would and when I came to what I thought would be the end, it just kept going. I realized there were multiple stories that needed to be told but did not focus on Elizabeth and Darcy; they each deserved their own book.
2. How come the name “defying propriety”? Can you give any hints?
I normally choose my titles from a recurring theme or phrase in the book. In As a Proper Lady Would, it was the idea that Elizabeth’s first reaction was not always “proper.” For Son of an Earl, Ashton is expected to marry the “proper” lady, same with his brother which will be the third book, and Darcy in the first. In each instance, the characters defy what society expects them to do and end up happier for it.
3. How have you found Elizabeth and Darcy as youngsters?
I love little Lizzy, she is a spitfire. Darcy breaks my heart at times. It was interesting thinking of them as children. Like the series blurb says, “We are formed by experiences of our childhood.” Darcy lost his mother when he was 12 or 13. That is a difficult time without the death of a parent. I did make him a little less proud than canon, but I hope the readers will forgive me.
4. Have you found many twists and turns within this series?
For the most part the stories move forward with only minor hiccups here and there. They are not high angst, but more emotional discovery. I might have rushed through Elizabeth and Darcy’s story a bit, but they do make appearances in each of the following books so we will see how they continue to grow as a couple.
5. When you write do you make a timeline? Or do you let the characters take charge of the plot?
I am very much a “pantser”––I fly by the seat of my pants. My stories normally begin with a scene. Once this is on paper, I read through it and consider where it might go from there or if something is needed prior. I write an “outline” document, which I title “ideas.” This is normally bullet points of things that I think should be included mixed in with brief scenes or bits of dialogue. Sometimes I stick to it; sometimes it takes a left turn and I have to add an “or” to the ideas document.
We are formed by experiences of our childhood. Family and friends influence our character. Decisions, wise and foolish, direct our path. Through chance encounters and early introductions, our beloved Pride and Prejudice characters come together on a slightly different path which may, to some, defy propriety.
All the books in this series are sweet, clean romances.
Ashton Fitzwilliam, Viscount Grayson and cousin to Fitzwilliam Darcy, has always known what was expected of him. As the eldest son of an earl, he must marry a lady from the first circles of society, preferably one whose father will be a new ally to the current earl. He never anticipated meeting an intriguing American lady with a secret or two she is determined to keep hidden from the disapproving haut ton.
Now, a GIVEAWAY! Just make a comment on this blog and Sophia will pick 1 lucky winner to receive an ebook copy ofSon of an Earl. Good luck! I can’t wait to read your comments.
Bronwen Chisholm has released eight Pride and Prejudice variations since 2014. She takes great pleasure in searching for potential “plot twists” and finding the way back to a happy ending.
Her love of writing has led her to several writing groups, and she is currently serving as the vice president of the Riverside Writers and organizes the Riverside Young Writers.
Hello all, and welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl. This time I am welcoming Ridge Kennedy, and his book “Murder and Miss Austen’s Ball”
I am personally very intrigued by this murder/mystery theme, and especially when its coupled with Miss Austen’s Ball. So I am proud to welcome Ridge.
Approaching her 40th birthday in 1815, Miss Jane Austen, a modestly successful authoress, has determined to host a ball and posts a letter to Mr Thomas Wilson, the preeminent figure in the dance scene in London, to request his services.
When the dancing master arrives in the village of Chawton, Miss Austen discovers that this man may not be who he seems. The dancing master, for his part, discovers that this lady he is speaking with may not be who she seems. And together, they discover that life in rural Hampshire is undergoing serious disruption, that dangerous men are about, and the best laid plans may sometimes go terribly awry.
Through the course of the story, Miss Austen and her dancing master discover their mutual interest in music: for dancing, for singing, for playing, for entertaining, for delighting in the intimate glow that harmonious musicians may share.
There’s a murder. There’s an investigation. There’s mystery, indignation and the pursuit of justice. And there is more. Much more.
Miss Austen’s brothers Frank and Charles serve in the Royal Navy, and have told her of life at sea. But there’s a different perspective when you’re looking out from between the decks.
After Waterloo, peace is breaking out, and the wartime economy is winding down. And yes, Miss Austen is caught in the downdraft. And what of the need for an income? And what of the need for a man of business? Cannot a lady chart her own course?
Of course, there is a ball and more dancing besides. Of course, we will find partners. Of course, we shall dance.
From Chawton to Bristol, from Alton to Bath; from the plains of Salisbury to the sea; there is no want of adventure.
A Gentleman is responsible for the telling of this story; he claims first-hand knowledge of the events. He is elderly, however. Perhaps his mind is failing? One cannot be completely sure. Your author can only attest that this is the tale as he tells it. And your author humbly suggests that you, dear reader, will find it engaging, at times amusing, and … no … no… You must make what you will of that.
ABOUT THE BOOK; MaMAB
Murder & Miss Austen’s Ball
With her 40th birthday approaching and with three well-received novels in hand, Miss Jane Austen determines that she will host a ball. She has her reasons – quite sensible reasons. With the end of the war, the nation is in economic turmoil and, close to home, her brother’s bank is in distress. She has gained confidence and sees a way to gain her own means and independence.
A dancing master is sent for; a dancing master arrives. There is confusion, music, a literary rescue mission, a murder, a mystery and a puzzle that must be solved; even if the quest flies in the face of propriety. A mousetrap is set; it captures the wrong prey. Honor must be served, even if it involves headlong flight. And a mystery must be unraveled, even if it involves dark secrets.
Music & Dance
One unusual aspect of the story is the degree to which music and dance pervade its telling. The act of playing music together brings people into a special kind of intimate relationship. The story weaves in scenes of dance preparations, making music, teaching dancing and provides an inside look at a ball from the musicians’ and dance leader’s perspective. One scene follows a couple down the set through a longways dance.
A line on the cover promises “a novel with musical accompaniment” as we plan to provide readers with “audio illustrations” – online access to custom tracks that will be recorded to go along with the book. Some e-readers may even be able to click and hear the music. Most of the melodies will be tunes Miss Austen might have heard, danced to and even played. But there is one newly composed melody—The Dancing Master’s New Tune we’ll call it for now—that takes a prominent place in the tale.
Special to Interests of an Austen Girl
A Persuasive Argument for Novel Inspiration
Murder & Miss Austen’s Ball is quite clearly a sort of cozy mystery mashup; bad things do happen and good people try to understand what’s has happened. There is crime, a constable and a quest for justice. It is set in Austen’s era, and indeed, the author herself is a protagonist. That’s all standard operating procedure.
But, for the interested Austen fan, there’s another – not a puzzle really – but an homage. To give it a name? Maybe call it a literary conceit.
For one thing, it looks at Miss Austen’s life and especially her work as an author, in the light of emotional reality rather than sticking to the written reports. Miss Austen, in this story, is a serious writer who is, quite simply, looks for ways to maximize her income. She is successful: people are buying her books. But the business with Pride and Prejudice – the sale of the copyright – was a disaster that she will not bear repeating. Jane, inspired to some extent by her deceased cousin/sister-in-law Eliza, is a businesswoman.
When we meet Jane, Mansfield Park has been published with some success and Emma has been written and is in production. As an author, is facing an empty page. What next.
The incidents in Murder & Miss Austen’s Ball, might, in our alternate history, provide a few plot pints and ideas. She meets a man – a former sailor, though not an officer. Might it be interesting for her to tell a story that is populated by navy men. But they would have to be officers wouldn’t they.
This fellow she meets – this dancing master – has a history. A match that was made, but the girl’s parents disapproved. A plot point? A local Lord with a greater concern for good fashion and good sense. A ditzy daughter with more of the same. A visit to a seaside. An accident. And then, all those names.
Could the events of late 1815 and the first days of 1816 have somehow, in Jane’s mind, become part of the material for her next and sadly, her last, novel?
In our imaging, that appears to be the case. And I hope it provides the well-informed reader with a few tasty morsels to enjoy as they read.
Ridge Kennedy’s day jobs have included set designer, university professor, newspaper reporter, tech writer, publisher, advertising/PR guy, IT specialist and more. His involvement in folk music began during the Great Folk Scare of the 1960s as a song leader. “I always wanted to grow up to be Pete Seeger,” he says. After discovering the world of traditional American and English Country Dance, he became a dance caller and has been the “dancing master” at hundreds of contra, square, English and other dances around the US. For more information visit www.ridgekennedy.com . Murder & Miss Austen’s Ball is his first novel.
Hello to All and welcome back to my desk; Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
Just in time for the upcoming holidays, a much-loved author has shared her new book, a holiday book with me and thereby you, guys, the author who is visiting me at my desk is Heather Moll, and her new book, “A Hopeful Holiday.” The last book was an adventure, a mix of Outlander vibes and, of course, P&P vibes, but now it is a Christmas story that is on my desk.
ABOUT THE BOOK;
IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON A PERFECT SETTING FOR A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE?
After secretly arranging Lydia and Wickham’s marriage, Mr Darcy encouraged Bingley to return to Jane. While his friend is now happily married, Darcy regrets not having the courage to pursue Elizabeth in the autumn. As 1812 draws to a close, Darcy rallies his spirits to spend the Christmas holiday with Lady Catherine.
Elizabeth Bennet wanted to show Darcy that her feelings for him had changed, but he never returned to Hertfordshire and she fears Darcy could never tolerate being brother-in-law to Wickham. For a change of scene and with the hope of lifting her spirits, Elizabeth accepts an invitation to visit Charlotte Collins and her new baby at Christmas.
Lady Catherine’s New Year’s Eve masquerade ball is the social event of the season and, amid the festivities and mistletoe, both Darcy and Elizabeth hope for a reason to make their affections known. But will her ladyship’s interference, the sudden appearance of her scheming nephew, and Elizabeth and Darcy’s insecurities prevent them from finding happiness during the holiday season?
So that sounds promising indeed! And just in time for christmas! Omg only two months more until Christmas… AGAIN! I feel like we just took down our Christmas tree! Imagine that! 2020 is barely gone and now 2021 is almost over, and what a year it has been, both good and bad.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HEATHER MOLL WRITES ROMANTIC VARIATIONS OF JANE AUSTEN’S CLASSIC NOVELS. SHE IS KNOWN FOR HER HISTORICAL DETAILS, UNIQUE PLOTS, AND CHARACTERS TRUE TO THE BELOVED ORIGINALS.
Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a masters in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring her letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether or not to buy groceries or stay home and write. Visit her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a freebie and monthly updates.
Hello All and welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, wow its been a while since I posted anything, but I am seriously busy at the moment, two books is on the desk, being read, hold your breath, one is a sequel to one I reviewed last year! And I have just started a very intensive course of Health and Sports Massage, exam is in 5 weeks! So I give you another welcome back to a much read author, namely Bronwen Chisholm! Bronwen, the desk is yours 🙂
Hello! I am so pleased to be visiting you here at Interests of a Jane Austen Girl again. The first novel in my Defying Propriety Series, As a Proper Lady Would, will be available October 1st on Kindle and in paperback. Though I did a cover reveal last week at Austen Authors, it has changed slightly. Here it is along with the blurbs for both the series and this first book.
We are formed by experiences of our childhood. Family and friends influence our character. Decisions, wise and foolish, direct our path. Through chance encounters and early introductions, our beloved Pride and Prejudice characters come together on a slightly different path which may, to some, defy propriety
All the books in this series are sweet, clean romances.
In this first book of the Defying Propriety Series, we watch as Elizabeth and Darcy learn what society expects of them, while attempting to achieve what they truly desire in life. The well-known characters, as well as a few new ones, grow from childhood to a marriageable age; some reveal different facets of their personalities, while others are doomed to follow the same paths.
I know I have said this before about other books, but it really is the truth. I had so much fun writing this story. We meet our favorite characters when they are children, and we get to see some of the pivotal moments in their lives. Through tears and laughter, we get a glimpse at why they are the way they are and how they can change.
In addition, I was able to throw little tidbits into the story. When researching girls’ schools, I learned about Jane Austen’s brief schooling and was able to make a nod to one of the institutions she attended. As a teenager, I read V.C. Andrews’ Dollanganger Series. If you’ve read it, see if you catch my mention of one character’s name. And the thing I enjoy doing more than anything else when I write these variations, I got to take some of Jane Austen’s dialogue and have a different character voice it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.
Just make a comment on this blog and Sophia will pick 1 lucky winner to receive an ebook copy ofAs a Proper Lady Would. Good luck! I can’t wait to read your comments.